I remember years ago when I was little, I would bring cards, papers and photos to the stationery shop and have them laminated for a fee, maybe like RM1 or RM2 per item, depending on size. The man would run it into a machine and produce glossy cards protecting my cards and papers, cards that I would wow over.
Oh yes. I love laminated stuff. How simple it was to make me happy. 🙂
Fast forward to the current, I still love laminated stuff, but I know it would be pricey to laminate them at the stores. I had always wished I had a laminator at home, plus now, with three kids, it would certainly be helpful to have a laminator at my disposal.
So you could imagine how thrilled I was when Royal Sovereign very kindly provided me with one of their pouch laminators for consideration and review. The item I was sent was the Royal Sovereign CS-923KT, which is the Royal Sovereign CS-923 9″ Pouch Laminator and SCR-002 Pouch Film Assortment 170 Pack Value Kit.
This value kit comprises the Royal Sovereign CS-923 9″ Pouch Laminator and a pouch film assortment kit, which comes in handy for laminating items. The pouch film assortment includes: (100) 3 mil letter size, (30) 4 mil card size, (30) 4 mil business card size, (10) luggage tag size, and (1) 4 mil carrier.
My first impression of the pouch laminator was that it was so sleek and classy! I love that it looks totally inconspicuous on the desk and is so unlike those HUGE and bulky laminators in the stores which I’d been to. Its small footprint meant that this laminator fits nicely atop any desk or home office. Would you believe that I can actually lift it with just one hand? I don’t recommend doing it of course, but I’m just sayin’…..
The Royal Sovereign Laminator is able to laminate both hot and cold pouches from 3mil to 5mil in thickness. Typical lamination is hot lamination, which is why the items that come out straight from the laminator is hot to the touch, but there is also something known as cold lamination, which I believe requires special cold laminating pouches.
Well, in true Mommy-style, the first thing I used this laminator for was to laminate word flash cards for my kids. I was teaching my son Bahasa Malaysia words and my girl was going through some phonics, so I took the opportunity to make these cards for them to use. I could have used individual laminating pouches for each of the cards, but I chose the economical way and placed a few cards into a letter-sized pouch instead. I would then cut out each individual flash card when the laminating is done.
When I turned the laminator on, I first chose the laminating thickness I required. For my case it’s 3mil.
I left it on to warm up while I went about my other chores. When I came back to the laminator in about 3-5 minutes, the green Ready light was lit up, denoting that it was ready to laminate. So the wait time for the laminator to warm up does not bother me at all, since I can do other things while waiting for it.
I ran my first batch of words through the laminator.
The laminating pouch does not go through the laminator super quick like the speed of a paper through a printer, though. Expect it to ease and inch its way through, from the front of the laminator to the back. It’s important to insert the pouch with the SEALED SIDE FIRST to prevent the pouch from curling up and getting stuck inside the laminator.
I held the pouch and guided it through and it came out beautifully! I made a second batch of words and proceeded to laminate them too.
However, I had a problem when I did my third batch of words. The laminating pouch got stuck and did NOT appear on the back of the laminator. I quickly read the instruction manual, which instructed me to use the jam-release lever on the back of the laminator and pull the laminating pouch out from the front.
Uh-oh. How was I supposed to do that now that my entire pouch is stuck inside the laminator? 🙁
I promptly sent an email to the Royal Sovereign Support Team, asking for help. It was after 10p.m. then so I did not expect a reply till the morning, but knowing me, I googled for a solution too, and I was directed to remove the top casing of the laminator by removing the screws on the bottom of the laminator, to remove the jammed pouch.
A few screws out and I thought I was heading somewhere when I faced another problem.
The Phillips screwdriver attachment on the Swiss Army knife I was using was not long enough to remove 3 screws which were fixed deeper down into the crevices. I had to look for a longer screwdriver.
I waited till morning and asked the apartment leasing office folks for one, and so by noon the next day, I had succeeded in removing the entire top casing of the laminator. I had also received a reply from the Royal Sovereign Support Team by this time instructing me to remove the casing the same way.
See the paper in the laminating pouch that got stuck in the rollers right there?
I promptly removed it and screwed the top casing back.
Well, I did ask the Support Team what could have caused the jam, since I know I was following all the instructions. Some of the possible causes, according to the Support Team, was:
- Inserting the pouch the wrong way, i.e. open side first
- Extreme angles while inserting pouch
- Material laminated is too thick
I know I did none of the above, so it wasn’t one of those reasons. 🙂
… but I found out a possible cause:
Remember I told you the pouch film assortment set came with a carrier?
Well, looks like this girl here really needs to do some reading before she hurries on to laminate stuff!
I should have place the laminating pouch INTO the carrier before running the carrier through the laminator!
That might have saved the lamination. So here’s what I did:
See how easy the carrier *carries* the laminating pouch through the laminator? 🙂
Well, I did find that using the carrier sometimes produced a not-too-perfect laminated product, at least by my perfectionist standards anyway. But not to worry, all I had to do was to run the laminated item one more time through the laminator and the problem is solved!
I am happy to say that I have not had any problems since that jammed incident the other day. Perhaps it is because I am extra careful to align and load the pouch carefully each time I laminate.
I’ve also laminated a few other interesting things so far…goes to show laminating isn’t only for papers, photos and cards.
I got the kids involved in this project when I announced we were going to make bookmarks with the laminator! Here we have bookmarks made from dried and pressed dandelions, and a turkey feather bookmark!
The laminator really comes in handy with creative projects and I can foresee I will be using this Royal Sovereign laminator for many organizing projects in future too. The Royal Sovereign 9-inch Laminator CS-923 is priced below USD20 at Amazon.com, and it’s really value for money for what you get. It’s an indispensable home office item and is worth every penny invested. If you prefer the laminating kit (like the one I was using), it will include the CS-923 together with pouch film assortment pack, so you’re all set to go ahead and laminate!
A minor downside for me though is the fact that this laminator runs on a max of 120V, simply because it originated from the USA.
Now that I am back in Malaysia, I will need a transformer to decrease the voltage running it, so that I can use it. It’s a small problem though, but will require an additional device purchased. There are no Royal Sovereign branches here in Malaysia yet, but I’m sure they will have laminators with the appropriate voltages in the countries that carry the products.
What I Like:
- Small footprint, looks classy on the desk or in a home office. Excellent for personal/home office use.
- Does its job well, slightly slower speed while laminating does not pose a problem for me.
- Reasonably priced.
- Easy troubleshooting just in case the laminating pouch gets stuck: either use the jam-release lever or remove entire top casing.
What can be improved:
- Voltage requirements need an additional transformer (country-specific and only applies in my case)
- Sometimes needs a carrier to laminate products/items.
Do you have a laminator?
Do you find it useful and what do you use it for?